Geneva Church, now Northlake, held its first Sunday Worship Service on Palm Sunday, 1952. Reverend Grant Whipple officiated as Pastor. Providing support were Grant's wife, Bernice, Doug and Helen Anderson, and Reverend Chester Rutledge and his wife, Helen; all Firs Bible and Missionary Conference Staff. About thirty attended, all close friends who had been seeking a way to have a Community Church in the Geneva area. They had all been attending Bible classes in the area taught by various Firs Staff members. Of the founders, only Helen Anderson remains living; now residing at Spring Creek Retirement Center.
There was no immediate membership. Some of this originating group became volunteer leaders, working together with Grant Whipple to plan a church organization. Very few of them had any organization experience in the local church. Our deep interests were Bible Study, Missions, Fellowship, and Worship. After our 1952 Easter Week experience, we became even more excited about having our own church, our own place of Worship. We also wanted a more direct way to support missionaries.
It was a year or more before the concept of membership began to seem important. I do not remember the year, but a step of growth took place when all who regularly attended on Sundays were named charter members.
Joan and I enjoyed the first Palm Sunday service, became charter members and have considered Geneva, now Northlake, to be our Church home for all these 60 years.
- Norval and Joan Magnusson